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Water Valley Soldier Dies In Rescue Attempt

Private First Class Pierre E. Allen, a legal clerk with Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 37th Engineers Battalion (Airborne), 20th Engineer Brigade, on his last jump from a C-130 aircraft gives a thumbs up and a big smile as he and his fellow Soldiers await the green light to jump. – Photo by SPC Waddell L. Tollison

(Official U. S. Army News Release)
May 27, 2008                                    

FORT BRAGG, N.C. – A Soldier from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 37th Engineer Battalion, 20th Engineer Brigade, died attempting to rescue swimmers caught in a riptide Saturday.

Private First Class Pierre Emmanuel Allen, 21, was swimming with a friend at Panama City Beach, Fla. when they noticed several swimmers in distress.  While trying to assist in rescuing the swimmers, Allen was swept out to sea and drowned.

“Private First Class Allen’s actions exemplified the Warrior Ethos,” said Capt. John Bacon, commander, Headquarters and Headquarters  Company, 37th Engineer Battalion, 20th Engineer Brigade. “Dedicated to both the military and his family, he continually sought ways to develop himself as a model Soldier while demonstrating a healthy balance in his  personal life as a devoted husband and father.  Private First Class Allen had a significant impact on the many lives he came in contact with and will  be sadly missed.”

Allen, a legal specialist, entered the military in November 2006 and arrived to headquarters and Headquarters Company in October 2007.  He attended Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Jackson, S.C., followed by the Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Ga.

The Water Valley, Miss. native is survived by his wife, LaRhonda, and their four children. A memorial service for the Soldier will be held, however, the time and place are yet to be determined.

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